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Source: John Grable, 785-532-1486,
Web site:
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Working professionals in the finance industry can now bolster their skills with a distance-based doctorate in personal financial planning from Kansas State University.

K-State launched the doctorate program in personal financial planning this summer. It is the university's first distance-based doctorate program and is conducted almost exclusively online, save the summers when students come to campus for an intensive 10-day course. The fourth summer, students will travel abroad to see firsthand how global markets work and how they affect financial planning in the United States and worldwide.

"Demand for the program has been tremendous," said John Grable, K-State professor of personal financial planning. "We are recruiting students from around the world, and these are the best and brightest individuals who have a desire to make a lasting impact in the financial planning world through teaching and research."

The program, which is a collaboration between the College of Human Ecology's School of Family Studies and Human Services and K-State's Division of Continuing Education, enables distance students to earn their doctorate in as little as five years.

"This program structure allows me to do something I have long desired but did not have the flexibility to pursue," said Kurt Schindler, a 19-year resident of Puerto Rico who was one of the first to enroll. "It fit into my goals, lifestyle and responsibilities."

Schindler, who has worked in the financial sector for 22 years, said he was ready to take on the academic side of finance. But with deep roots in Puerto Rico, his options were limited.

"I saw the K-State program profiled in a trade magazine and began the application process almost immediately," he said. "I wanted to be able to understand and participate in the academic perspective of this important profession. I am grateful to have this opportunity."

Julie Cumbie, Edmond, Okla., is a full-time instructor of finance at the University of Central Oklahoma. She said earning her doctorate would mean real opportunities for promotion.

"I wanted to take my profession to the next level," she said. "Completion of this program will allow me to be promoted and provide me with the skills to engage in research."

In the program students learn to solve real-world problems and integrate knowledge about personal finance and relationships. They also will have the opportunity to participate in professional groups, assume professional leadership positions and become involved in teaching, researching and publication, Grable said.

The degree fulfills the educational requirement for designation as a registered financial consultant, registered financial associate, certified retirement counselor or accredited financial counselor.

This program also is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., which will allow graduates to sit for the certified financial planner exam.

More information on the program is available at